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Monday, March 05, 2007

Pancha kosha 3 - Basics of Yoga Therapy


Indian philosophy considers this harmony as the spiritual health and wellbeing of God’s creation. But as we look at the world today, people are actually fighting with each other in the name of spirituality. Coercive acts of conversion of religion and beliefs are creating complete disharmony and violence, taking us away from spiritual health and well being. Only when we realize this truth, the world can become a better, more harmonious, place.
When we investigate sickness, we notice that the underlying factor in most illnesses is disharmony. The illness that most people associate with is that of the physical body. When there is a disturbance within the auto immune system, there is a germ or foreign element which has entered the body and caused the sickness, or disharmony within the systems of the body. It is the fight occurring between one group of our body’s cells with another category. They lost the harmonious way of existing and as a result our own body cells started fighting. This disharmony may have originated somewhere deep within us. According to Indian philosophy, the disharmony may even follow us from life to life. Therefore, we may not even be able to pin point the true cause of our illness. Yoga Vasista tells us not to worry about the origin of the disharmony and where it started, but rather, to concentrate on how to remove this disharmony.


The way to remove this disharmony is consciously revert back to our true nature at all personality levels, since we started causing disharmony within as we moved away from our true nature. For example, at the body level, our nature is to be relaxed, so we need to perform practices that will help us get back to this relaxed state to reach harmony.
As shown in the table, at every personality level we can go back to our nature. It is easy to understand at the physical level that when we are relaxed we are naturally happy so the practices of yoga are good for relaxation. Similarly with a little close observation one can agree that slowing is important at the inner activity level. Sufficient knowledge and lab studies have been made all over the world that meditation will give us a clam state of mind and that is good for harmony. But it is much more difficult to see how we can make use the faculty called intellect for inner harmony. We also feel it is the emotions which disturb our peace of mind very deeply with emotional hurt. We use our intellect to convince others that we are right and they are wrong. On the other hand, if we start using our intellect to see how we can be at peace with one another and we begin to aim our emotional and intellectual abilities towards this goal, we can become harmonious and healthy. In Jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga these points are made very clear.
We are rich with soft emotions such as love, compassion, appreciation, and a sense of wonder. We are born with these emotions which naturally give us harmony. They are with us even before we acquire intellect as a child. However, as we get older, we neglect these soft emotions and give importance to violent emotions of anger, hatred, greed, etc. Soft emotions are health and violent emotions are sickness, soft emotions bring bliss where as violent emotions bring sadness, distaste, and bitterness. But we often fail to realize this. Let us, therefore, consciously create harmony: This is the purpose of yoga.

- to be continued...

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